"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
I think that one of the greatest failures in the Body of Christ in general is the lack of fathers. There is indeed a crisis of fathers everywhere. Whether we like it or not, the Lord has called many of us to be fathers. To be a father is probably the hardest work we will ever do on this earth. It is so easy to give up!
My failures were embarrassing, but are actually helping me to be a better and more approachable father to my own kids and to the people God has called me to pastor. I am nobody, I stand as a nobody and I will forever be a nobody without the Lord. I am enjoying an amazing wife, not because I deserve her, but because of God’s mercy and grace in my life. If I am back ministering again it’s because God’s faithfulness, not because of mine. I can’t take the glory for anything. Loosing my first wife to cancer revealed the nastiness of my own heart and sin finally caught up with me.
Today, I stand in front of a very small congregation. I pour my heart out Sunday after Sunday. I am back pursuing holiness…It is a lot easier when we can go to bed with a beautiful wife every night. But it’s total hell when we are alone. I know loneliness; I know how bad it’s for a man to be alone. So I don’t justify sin; I know what is on the other side of that, but I can no longer be arrogant when dealing with other people’s sins. As fathers, we must also understand that many of our children and spiritual children are facing hell themselves. They are struggling with strong spirits of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, insecurity, hurt, bitterness, irresponsibility, laziness, fear and the list goes on and on.
I do not preach a Gospel that allows us to do whatever we want; I don’t preach a Gospel of false mercy. I preach the severity of the consequences of sin and the beauty of pursuing holiness. However, I do not point at myself as the example; as an unapproachable Man of God that has it all together. No, I am not the one with the same wife, I am not the one with no divorce on my record; I am not the one that never got caught in sin, that did everything right and that was always a great example.
My testimony is a mess; I do not hide behind the branches of the things I did before I was a Christian. I am talking about embarrassing things I did after receiving Jesus as my Savior and Lord. But in the Gospel I preach I point at the One that did, is doing and will forever do everything right…I point at Jesus! He deserves all the glory, He deserves all the praise, and He is my hope and the one who wakes me up everyday, gives me strength and indeed restored my hope.
Who am I to judge you? But what I can tell you is that if you continue to insist in that secret sin; if you refuse to repent and turn from your wicked ways, that sin will destroy you. My sin added more time in the desert and has increased the distance of the promise land of my purpose. But I believe that God is restoring my days and I trust that with His help I will finish the race and my purpose will become a reality before I sing the melodies of my last song.
I am the father of many, you just don’t know it yet, but I will look for you. For these are the days where we as fathers must turn our hearts toward our children. Our children are crying out, running from father to father, filled with rebelliousness and hurt. But they will recognize our voices, for we will carry the banner of God’s love…that love that will never fail according to First Corinthians 13. I hear the song of the prophet; I hear the melodies of a new song, the music of our future is getting lauder…I hear the words that announced the end of an era and the promise for our today:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)